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The Glimpses Of The Moon

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,586 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Set in the 1920s, The Glimpses of the Moon details the romantic misadventures of Nick Lansing and Susy Branch, a couple with the right connections but not much in the way of funds. They devise a shrewd bargain: they'll marry and spend a year or so sponging off their wealthy friends, honeymooning in their mansions and villas. As Susy explains, "We should really, in a way, h ...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published October 3rd 1996 by Scribner (first published 1922)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tatiana
I really love romances. The disdain I have shown over the years towards romance novels might conflict with this statement, but I truly adore a good love story. But why do I never find well-written, logical! (is that too much to ask?) but smutty romances? Why aren't there any novels as superbly written and plotted as The Glimpses of the Moon, but with some sexy in them?

So, The Glimpses of the Moon. Nick and Susy are a part of 1920th American high society, but they are penniless. They have no mean
...more
Cynthia
Susy and her beau Nick have both grown up around rich people though their own families have lost their fortunes. Susy makes her way in the world flitting from invitation to invitation acting as an unpaid but rewarded assistant to her rich friends. Nick has dreams of making a living by his writing. They meet and fall in love but one rich matron from Susy's circle tells her, in effect, hands off of Nick because she has designs on him. Susy tells Nick they have to part and why but by then they've f ...more
Laurel Hicks
I'm so glad I read this book! "It's not House of Mirth," the reviews kept saying. "Well, neither is Anna Karenina War and Peace," I answered, and kept on reading.

A marriage of two penniless socialites begins with a business bargain and ends. Or does it?
Jane
How lovely. Though it's something like a twenty-first century romcom (and if this hasn't been adapted for film, it really should be) and it almost reads like parody at times, it is so clearly Wharton's work, this is a charming book. I really, really love Edith Wharton, but sometimes she seems too viciously satirical, as in The Custom of the Country, where Undine Spragg is so aggressively vapid and self-serving as to be an insult to humanity at large (and American humanity in particular). This bo ...more
Sarah
If you're comfortable dealing with the assumptions Edith Wharton makes about money and the classes who have it (basically the assumption that the green stuff is worth writing about, thinking about, being torn about, etc etc) then her often painful observations are beyond brilliant. And what carries you through those observations is this exquisite sense of longing and desire that permeates each page. At the beginning it's more of a longing to escape, but in her later novels it's distinctly sexual ...more
Beth
First published in 1922, this is considered somewhat glib and satirical (in comparison with Warton's other work). It's the story of Susy and Nick who though without money themselves, are hanger's-on to the wealthy, the international set that cruises Europe, dashing from Rome to Paris to cruises on the Aegean. In order for Susy and Nick to continue in this life, each must marry into money (sell themselves, in other words). Instead they decide to marry each other and live off wedding gifts. Part o ...more
Denis
You never can go wrong with Edith Wharton. But I found this novel, not one of her most famous, especially fascinating, and Wharton's way of mixing romanticism, even sometimes clichés, with an acute realism, works amazingly well and casts a spell. No one has talked about American society as she has - and her characters, battling with their emotions and their ambitions, trapped without necessarily knowing it, are not only quite touching but also not that different from us.
Ali
I have yet to read as many Edith Wharton novels as I would like to – although I do have about five TBR. This one immediately appealed to me – and yet I have been left rather disappointed in it.

Edith Wharton is famous for having written novels that lift the lid on the society in which she lived. In The Glimpses of the Moon, she satirises those bright young things with more money than sense, who divorce their spouses at a drop of a hat, and the poorer hangers on who live off them.

“Apart from the
...more
Christina Dudley
Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget--

Imagine if Lily Bart and Lawrence Selden from Wharton's THE HOUSE OF MIRTH had given it a go and gotten together--this might have been the result. Nick Lansing and wife Susy have nothing between them but social popularity and an ability to live off the generosity of others. In a moment of "madness," they decide to get married, figuring they have a year before the money is gone and they may have to give each other up.

Although Nick reminded me (not in pleasant way
...more
Bill
I feel bad admitting that this is the first book written by Edith Wharton that I have read.But believe me I'm going to rectify that in a big way, because it was a really good book. I don't normally like romances but this was so well written and such a good story...the ending is pretty predictable, but that's okay. Anyway, I now want to read all of her books and am going to start with Ethan Frome.
Tessa
I'd never read Wharton before and picked this up on a whim because it seemed the most intelligent and charming of the new books section in the main library. It was charming indeed, but also emotionally torturous in the delightful way that well written romances are. Not, like, romance novels in the modern commercial sense, but in the Thomas Hardy sense. Only from the '20s. However, being a fan of tension, especially romantic tension, the letdown at the resolution was both a relief and akin to bei ...more
Ilona
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
"Age of Innocence" is a favorite movie of mine. but after my experience with "Gone With the Wind" I was very leery of reading the book. I decided to start with a story that I knew nothing about.

I don't read a lot of fiction, but I like historically based stories, and am fascinated with the Gilded Age, so this seemed like a safe bet for me. I enjoyed this book, although I could only relate to the circumstances through my imagination. Holidays and travelling with the monied set in around the turn
...more
Susan Oleksiw
Set in the early 1920s, this novel continues Edith Wharton's examination of New York society and the costs it exacts on those who try to be part of it. Susy Branch and Nick Lansing concoct a plan to live free in the best spots of Europe by getting married and letting their friends offer their homes as honeymoon resorts. This is Susy's idea because both she and Nick are poor yet part of the New York world. The scheme works just fine until one evening Nick learns that the price of their palace in ...more
Kristen
When reading Wharton you never have the safety net of knowing that things will end happily. In fact – most of her books are tragedies in the most profound sense of the word. This is the first of her books that I have read in which the focus is primarily on a romance. Now I’m not much of a romance reader so when I realized that this would be a romance novel, I was a bit concerned. Lucky for me there was nothing sappy about this book.

Suzy and Nick enjoy each other’s company, however neither of th
...more
Maura
One of the few Edith Wharton books with a fairly happy ending. Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are both barely getting by in the wealthy social circles they move in. Sensing in each other some finer qualities lacking in those they move among, they are drawn to one another and decide to marry as a sort of business partnership, helping each other to survive on limited funds. On the surface they agree to set the other free if a better "opportunity" presents itself; that is, a wealthier marriage partne ...more
Margaret
Though strongly attracted to each other, Nick and Susy can't afford to get married and live in high society, but they make each other a deal: they'll get married and stay married as long as they can, but when they run out of money, they're free to divorce and remarry more advantageously. Their plan goes rather awry, however, when they start to feel more deeply about each other than they expected and must negotiate not only their financial situation but also their different ethical systems.

This r
...more
Nancy
The cast of characters in this Wharton novel might be considered the "bright young things" of the 1920's but the world she delineates is anything but bright.

Wharton's dark take on society even permeates this romance. There are very thought provoking aspects to the society she exposes in each of her novels but this one was particularly troubling to me because I suspect she thought she wrote a simple morality tale with a happy ending.

The bleakness I feel in reading her work is her exposition of th
...more
Jen
The Glimpses of the Moon is a charming tale of a 1920s romance between Susy and Nick Lansing, a socially connected but no longer wealthy couple. Both Susy and Nick appreciate the luxury afforded to the socially elite (frequent dinner parties, social events, summer mansions, seasonal wardrobes and jewelry, etc) but lack the means to afford them so they devise a plan to marry for a year and live off the honeymoon gifts their wealthy friends offer. They agree to this ���contract��� with an understa ...more
Megan Chance
This is one of my favorite books written by Edith Wharton. What happens when two charming and poverty stricken socialites who make their living by sponging (charmingly) off their rich friends fall in love? Susy and Nick Lansing decide to marry and live off their wedding gifts for a year--at which time they'll reassess their relationship and the problem of money--and what ensues is a complex and subtle morality play, at the center of which are questions like: what does one owe those from whom one ...more
Jenny
Edith Wharton’s writing never disappoints. She tells a gripping story, complete with great characters, beautiful descriptions, a compelling romance, and telling observations on early 20th century social customs. Wharton likes to write about the effects of divorce, a fairly new social phenomenon, and one that puts people into some awkward situations. Marriage changes when there are ways to get out of it, and as the novel begins, the main characters, Nick and Susy, are defining marriage in a very ...more
Ashley
I really liked this. Although the premise is not exactly current (two penniless people marry with the expectation that society friends' gifts of stays in vacation homes will keep them out of poverty for a year or two while they find wealthier partners), the main characters and the themes of the novel are timeless. Newlyweds learning how to navigate marriage: communication, self-awareness, disagreements, etc.

This is one of Edith Wharton's most modern novels (perhaps because it was written later i
...more
Brianna
I give this 5 stars not because it is equal to, say, "The House of Mirth", but because Edith Wharton writes at a 5 star level, period. This is the fourth book of hers I've read, and none have even slightly disappointed. If I pick up a Wharton book, it's going to be better than good. I think this might, just maybe, officially make her my favorite author.

I don't really like romances. And this is a romance/social commentary. But her story lines, her observations, her social keenness, make her so i
...more
Marcy
The Glimpses of the Moon was the best Edith Wharton I've read thus far. I want to say something important about it but it'll give away the ending, so I'll just have to say: Read it!
Laura
It is all about love and money by Edith Wharton managed to tell the story in a charming way.
Eileen
At first it's surprising to see that Edith Wharton ever wrote a 20s farce, but then it becomes apparent that this isn't actually a farce because it's Edith Wharton. Much less tragic and more romantic than most Wharton, even with the constant angst and threats of both falling into complete baseness of character and shady misunderstanding-based divorce. My initial ranking was a solid 3.5 simply because it isn't AS great as most Wharton, but if you compare it against the whole body of all written f ...more
Asa
I'm not sure "like" is the right word to describe how I feel when I read Wharton's books, because while they are very well-written and the characters feel believable, the way her world is written makes me feel claustrophobic. All her characters are restrained by their upbringing and the society they live in, and it is only in small glimpses that they can get outside of themselves and look at their own circumstances objectively, and those glimpses doesn't really serve to make their lives better. ...more
Jukka
Glimpses of the Moon - Edith Wharton

There is something so unexpectedly sly in this, the lighter tone really is a break for Wharton. She knows the book that is expected, but instead she sets about to create, shall i call it, a parody of her own work. Take this for example:

Susy was visibly glad to see Gillow; but she was glad of everything just then, and so glad to show her gladness!

Would you quite expect this from an author with Wharton's reputation? She's renown for her bitter tone, and moral se
...more
Suzanne
This is a love story. It’s also about how people will justify and rationalize what they need to do to survive, although survival is a relative term.

Nick and Susy Lansing, newlyweds in the early 1920s, are certainly in love, which makes the premise of the book a little weird but more compelling. Both have always relied on the generosity of well-to-do friends to keep them in the kind of society they feel they have to be a part of. As hangers-on at the fringes of the ‘20s equivalent of the jet-set
...more
Allison
The writing is exquisite; however, the storyline was not my most favorite of her books (though still enjoyable), hence the four-star rating instead of five.

A few favorites quotes:

"Will-power, he saw, was not a thing one could suddenly decree oneself to possess. It must be built up imperceptibly and laboriously out of a succession of small efforts to meet definite objects, out of the facing of daily difficulties instead of cleverly eluding them, or shifting their burden on others. The making of
...more
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At which point did they fall in love? 2 9 Jan 20, 2014 03:41AM  
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
More about Edith Wharton...
The Age of Innocence The House of Mirth Ethan Frome Ethan Frome and Other Short Fiction The Custom of the Country

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“Apart from the pleasure of looking at her and listening to her--of enjoying in her what others less discriminatingly but as liberally appreciated--he had the sense, between himself and her, of a kind of free-masonry of precocious tolerance and irony. They had both, in early youth, taken the measure of the world they happened to live in: they knew just what it was worth to them and for what reasons, and the community of these reasons lent to their intimacy its last exquisite touch.” 3 likes
“Perhaps, after all, Susy reflected, it was the world she was meant for, since the other, the brief Paradise of her dreams, had already shut its golden doors upon her.” 3 likes
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